Before we begin reading our passage for today, let’s put a few nuggets of biblical history into our thoughts. The gospel of John was written by the apostle John who served as one of the twelve disciples during Jesus’ earthly ministry. John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin; his mother was Elizabeth whom Mary went to visit. In Chapter 1, John’s gospel tells us John the Baptist finds himself interrogated by some religious leaders; they want to know who he is because he has chosen not to follow the proper priestly path for leadership. In other words, he does not represent or take order from the establishment and they are not happy with him. So, John the Baptist answers them, “I am fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy: ‘I am an urgent, thundering voice shouting in the desert—clear the way and prepare your hearts for the coming of the Lord Yahweh!’” John the Baptist makes no apologies for usurping those in power; he simply does what the Lord sends him to do. He get’s people’s attention and warns them to turn from wickedness and seek the Truth—Yahweh.
John 1:29-34 The Lamb of God
29 The very next day John saw Jesus coming to him to be baptized, and John cried out, “Look! There he is—God’s Lamb! He will take away [lift off] the sins of the world! 30 I told you that a Mighty One would come who is far greater than I am, because he existed long before I was born! 31 My baptism was for the preparation of his appearing to Israel, even though I’ve yet to experience him.”
32 Then, as John baptized Jesus he spoke these words: “I see the Spirit of God appear like a dove descending from the heavenly realm and landing upon him—and it rested upon him from that moment forward! 33 And even though I’ve yet to experience him, when I was commissioned to baptize with water God spoke these words to me, ‘One day you will see the Spirit descend and remain upon a man. He will be the One I have sent to baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And now I have seen with discernment. I can tell you for sure that this man is the Son of God.”
Jesus is the Messiah; the Son of God and the Way of Truth who pleases the Father. He came and laid down his life, so humanity could choose to accept life in him; God’s plan for salvation from judgement. Believers—those who have laid their lives down to live in Christ—have been baptized with the Spirit of Holiness–now we, too, please the Father.
Friends, through the Holy Spirit, God is warning us again to get ready, but this time for his Second Coming. The apostle John writes about it in his prophetic vision from the Lord, “Then I witnessed another angel flying in the sky, carrying a message of eternal good news to announce to the earth—to every tribe, language, people, and nation. With a loud voice he shouted, “You must reverence God and glorify him, for the time has come for him to judge [the time of his deciding]. Worship at the feet of the Creator of heaven, earth, sea, and springs of water” (Rev 14:6-7).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for preparing our hearts through your Word and for the encouragement of the Spirit who supernaturally directs our paths. It is now the work of the Spirit to prepare us for your Second Coming. While I am waiting, help me to be an effective witness of the Truth for others. In Jesus’ name Amen.